- Apr 24, 2014
But three conferences doesn't solve that either.The playoff complication is a good point.
The advantage of one or more additional conferences is that you can keep a schedule where every team plays every other team at least once, while preventing the number of games from getting out of hand. With two conferences of 14 teams each, a "two-and-one" style schedule requires 40 games. At 15 teams each, the requirement becomes 43 games.
How about 4 conferences? At 7 teams each (28 total), two-and-one scheduling leads to 33 games. At 8 teams each (32 total), you get 38 games.
At 27 teams, you need 34 games. Great. But we aren't stopping there.
At 30 teams, you need 38 games.
At 33 teams (not a likely stopping point), you need 42 games.
At 36 teams, you need 46 games.
So, what's the advantage again? The only scenario where 3 conferences is better than 2 conferences is if we stop at 30 teams and move to a 38- game regular season. In all other instances 2 conferences is better or they have the exact same problems.
EDIT: With the rising franchise cost ($300 million for the 30th team) for a shrinking percentage of MLS/SUM equity, there's really only four expansion bids that have the firepower to get across the finish line right now - Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Detroit. And the Detroit bid hardly seems serious. I'd be (a) shocked if they stopped at 30 before the 2026 World Cup, but also (b) if they went above 32. If you price out all the remaining bidders, the value of your commodity drops back down.